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DOJ opposes unsealing Trump search affidavit, does not object to unsealing other materials connected to search

Trump FBI
Posted at 2:41 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-15 17:44:20-04

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said it opposes an effort by multiple U.S. media organizations to unseal an affidavit related to the FBI's execution of a search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on Aug. 8.

In the Monday court document, the DOJ indicated that it would not oppose unsealing, with redactions, other documents related to the search that would not harm an ongoing investigation.

The DOJ said if a court deems it necessary to release the FBI search affidavit in a partial unsealing, the department will not oppose it as long as the DOJ has an opportunity to redact parts of the document.

In a footnote on page 1 of the U.S. Southern District of Florida court filing, it says, "The government has carefully considered whether the affidavit can be released subject to redactions. For the reasons discussed below, the redactions necessary to mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest. Nevertheless, should the Court order partial unsealing of the affidavit, the government respectfully requests an opportunity to provide the Court with proposed redactions."

Prosecutors noted in the document that the affidavit should stay sealed, in their opinion, because it "would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps."

ABC News, one of the organizations that requested more documents be unsealed, reported that the DOJ would like to have an opportunity to provide minor redactions to documents contained within any potential unsealing to protect government personnel.

RELATED: Officials warn of spike in threats to law enforcement after search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued renewed warnings to law enforcement after they said a spike in threats had been received in the days after the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The memo's text was seen by multiple U.S. news outlets who reported that it said, “The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in threats to federal law enforcement and to a lesser extent other law enforcement and government officials following the FBI’s recent execution of a search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida."

RELATED: National Archives says Obama did not keep classified documents, rejecting Trump's claims